Environmental compensation for the construction of FAIR

Room service for bats

Tom Trautmann, GSI Department for Building and Plant Technology, checks a bat house.

Stayed relaxed during room service: Bat in a bat house, presumably Plecotus auritus (Photo: Markus Bernards for FAIR)

Two volunteers from FAIR and GSI have now checked and cleaned 36 bat boxes at Mörsbacher Grund. Three years ago FAIR had a total of 130 bat boxes with various designs placed in position not far from the construction site as a replacement for the hollows in trees since felled on the site. Nearly a quarter of these boxes are not designed to be self-cleaning, and for this reason it is necessary to remove disused birds’ nests, for example, every year.

Equipped with ladders, scrapers and dust masks two men headed through the woodland to the north of the FAIR site last week. Their objective: the three dozen round boxes, also known as bat houses, which have been suspended from trees across a distance of about one and a half kilometers at the edge of the woodland to the north and south of Mörsbacher Grund. Hung from trees at a height of around four meters they offer a dark habitat that protects the bats from drafts and wind, as well as from predatory martens.

This makes the houses not only attractive for bats but sometimes also for birds, which build their nests in the boxes. Such nests, as well as excrement, have to be removed once a year to ensure that the houses do not become blocked and sources of infection do not form.

In addition, experts from the ecological construction consulting for FAIR examine all the boxes every two years to determine the extent to which the boxes have been accepted by bats as rest and roost sites. The results from the first examinations are promising, with bats having occupied a whole series of boxes.

The bat boxes are part of the “Woodland” environmental compensation programme for the construction of FAIR.


More information about FAIR’s environmental programmes to compensate for loss of habitat

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